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The transparency of the silicon substrate in CMOS circuits to near infra-red light has enabled a rich variety of optical techniques for observing and modifying circuit behavior. The main classes of optical analysis techniques are photon emission, laser-induced circuit perturbation, and laser probing. Recent innovations in laser probing present significant new opportunities for failure analysis and yield enhancement. This paper presents several case studies with particular emphasis on how the new laser probing techniques complement and extend the established approaches.